Valerian Essential Oil

Valerian, Valeriana officinalis Foster Purchased 2008

Type of plant: A tall herb growing to 5 feet in height, with dark leaves and long stems with flower heads comprising many small white flowers with a pink tinge

Part used: Roots

Method of extraction: Steam distillation

Data: Valerian roots are quite thick, and when removed from the ground they appear as bundles of rope. This is an herb that was once considered magical, probably because of its hypnotic properties. There are many different varieties of valerian in the world, all of which appear to be sedative to some degree. Valerian is used in homeopathic as well as in herbal medicine.

Principal places of production: France, Croatia, Hungary, China, India

When buying look for: A pale-yellow to dark-yellow liquid with a warm, musty, earthy, balsamic aroma

Therapeutic properties: Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, calmative, depurative, diuretic, hypnotic, nervine, sedative, soporific, stomachic

Therapeutic uses: Gastrointestinal infections, insomnia, nervousness, stress, tension, tension headache, stress-induced migraine, muscular spasm, cramps, restlessness, inability to relax, restless leg, trembling disorders, pimples, acne, problematic skin

Blends well with: Amyris, basil linalol, bergamot, cananga, cedarwood, chamomile german, chamomile roman, clary sage, coriander seed, geranium, ginger lily root, hop, ho wood, jasmine, juniper berry, lavender, linden blossom, magnolia flower, magnolia leaf, mandarin, orange (sweet), petitgrain, rose absolute, sandalwood, spikenard, tangerine, vetiver, ylang ylang

Precautionary advice: Avoid if taking sedatives or antidepressant medication. Best avoided during pregnancy and while breast-feeding.